About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

F is for Follow-up - Shing Hing's 'Army Toys'

Speaking to someone over the pond who has no charity shops like ours, and where the equivalent 'Thrift Shops' apparently don't carry the old tat I've been picking up, made me think . . . firstly that we're lucky to have such shops here, despite the existence of both feebleBay and the Car Boot Sale movement - and it is a movement now, with management companies organising the regular sites and magazines telling you where to go and when - and secondly that the luck extends to the current round of purchases.

I've been checking charity shops for years and this year has been a particularly good one for finds; no rhyme or reason for it, it just has! I used to get the odd bag here and there, through the 1990's/2010's but I was only looking for small scale, yet would only see - to pass on - the odd larger-scale bag of farm or dinosaurs, while occasionally noticing the Fontanini stuff which is a perennial staple of these shops; only the other day I let a couple - of poor-paint clowns - go.

Then I had a bit of luck when I started moving to large scale back in 2009/10, from shops in Newbury, but this year's haul has been quite sizable and varied, with something every week or two.

Back in Rack Toy Month I was discussing in one post the Jaru sculpts and their similarity to those of Ocean, Soma and Shing Hing's sets. In the case  of Shing Hing I was using shelfies I'd taken in Smyths' bloody-great, empty-hanger in Farnborough, and what do you know; they turned-up the other day, loose, in a charity shop!

I'll probably save the comparisons 'till the next RTM or the next time we look at all the figures together, but as a box-ticker on Shing Hing, let's add them to the tag-list! Four nations, German, US, British and . . .

. . . Japanese troops, all in the same soft PVC as those aforementioned makers and pretty-much run of the mill China-troops, but all worth a comment or two.

In the case of the Japanese it's worth noting that while four of the poses are ex-Airfix, the other eight (for a 12-count pose total) are taken from the Ecsi/Ertl poses previously copied back in the 1990's by Rado Industries and others as we saw here, previously in polyethylene, quite tinny in the case of the Ri-Toys, but a softer Airfix-figure style polymer in the case of the copies-of-copies.

The' enemy' for the Iwo Jima battle I seem to recall suggesting back in RTM, although six of the poses are the common 'Fritz helmet' post-Cold War China-troops common to many current Chinese manufacturers and their shippers.

The other six are good old Matchbox's US Infantry set, copied with little attention to detail, ironic as the half-dozen modern figures are among the better versions of these common poses.

The ambiguity of the US soldiers is not a problem carried-over to the British set, again 12 poses, but all taken from Matchbox; their 8th Army this time. Only missing the Monty character, the heavy-weapons and crews and the surrendering German DAK 'Schultz', I've also kept two pipers so I can paint-up one at some point!

These will need comparing with the Ocean Desert Sales figures to which they look very similar, but Ocean don't have the second figure from the left on the top row - as far as I know.

The Germans pull from three original Western manufacturers 1970's-set's; two Matchbox (Afrika Korps - 7 poses, and German Infantry - 2 poses) and one Airfix original; German Infantry which provides the three poses bottom left.

There is a small amount of colour variation among the figures, most noticeable with the paler and darker greens of the Japanese, who also had a miss-mould, shooting downward, as he's curled-forward a bit.

Every figure is marked with an 'S. H. MADE IN CHINA', following the newer trend we've watched unfolding here for Chinese and HK-Chinese companies to build brand, and brand-recognition in a way few used to.

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